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LT. GOVERNOR'S REPORT
State of Alaska Lt. Governor
Feb. 9. 2006
Three Fort Wainwright soldiers serving with the
172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team in Iraq were killed and another
seriously injured this week in separate attacks involving improvised
explosive devices. Sgt. Jeremiah Boehmer, 22, of Parkston, SD, and
Staff Sgt. Christopher Morningstar, 27, of San Antonio, TX, were killed
Sunday in Al Husayniyah, Iraq. Both soldiers were combat engineers
assigned to the 562nd Engineer Company at Fort Wainwright. Spc.
Patrick Herried, 29, of Sioux Falls, SD, died Monday near Rawah. He
was a fire support specialist assigned to the 4th Squadron, 14th
Cavalry Regiment. The name of the soldier who was injured has not yet
been released. Carolyn and I offer our condolences to the family and
friends of these soldiers.
I’LL SECOND THAT:
I have been with fellow Lieutenant Governors in
Washington, DC this week for National Lieutenant Governor's Association
meetings. We met with top advisors to President Bush on Monday and
were briefed on homeland security scenarios as well as preparations for
a potential avian flu pandemic. Other discussion topics have included
trends in energy, steel manufacturing and the automobile industries.
I have promoted Alaska’s oil and gas resources - and the projects we
are working on to bring additional resources to the U.S. market. I
enjoyed my visits with Senator Murkowski, and staff to Senator Stevens
and Congressman Young at their offices on Tuesday.
If we are to improve and maintain our competitive
edge, and fill jobs in engineering, aviation, space and other
technologies, we must do a better job preparing and recruiting young
people. Yesterday I convened a hearing of the Aerospace States
Association in Washington, joined by four other Lieutenant Governors.
We heard from experts on the NASA budget and on science, technology,
engineering and mathematics education for K-12 students. In Alaska we
have the Kodiak Launch Facility, National Military Defense at Fort
Greely and the Challenger Learning Center program in Kenai – all key
elements in moving young Alaskans from learning to being the
competitive edge. Other hearing participants included specialists and
experts from the fields of science and education. I was pleased to
hear President Bush talk about the importance of regaining US
leadership in science and technology in his State of the Union address.
VOWING TO STRENGTHEN:
An issue I care strongly about was the subject
of a panel discussion yesterday in Washington. The Family Research
Council, a pro-family think tank and support organization hosted the
discussion of an initiative to strengthen marriages. Distinguished
panelists identified the societal cost from broken families and what
will be done with a federal appropriation signed today by President
Bush. Kenai Peninsula churches are already piloting a Marriage Savers
project—and additional funds to Alaska will allow expansion to other
areas, an exciting prospect. Divorce rates have dropped measurably
where Marriage Savers projects have been established. That is good
news for Alaska families.
PRAYING WITH THE PRESIDENT:
Keynote speaker for the National Prayer
Breakfast was Bono, lead singer for the band U-2. More than 5,500 of
us attended, including members of Congress, foreign diplomats, leaders
of many religious faiths and a king. Bono talked about his spiritual
journey and shared his passion for helping underprivileged people,
especially those in Africa, saying, “Where you live should not
determine whether you live.” President Bush talked about the
importance of praying, saying, “[it] is a gift that allows us to come
before our Maker with heartfelt requests and our deepest hopes….In
America, we do not prescribe any prayer. We welcome all prayer.” King
Abdullah of Jordan talked about the importance of Christians, Jews and
Muslims working together for peace. He condemned destructive violence
by radical Muslims, which he said is inconsistent with Islam.
LEADERS AND LEGENDS:
Monday, February 6, marked the birthdays of
Ernest Gruening, known as the “Father of Alaska Statehood,” and Ronald
Reagan, 40th President, widely known as “The Great Communicator.” I
met Senator Gruening in Washington, D.C. as a high school senior and
later he visited my high school in Ninilchik. A doctor, soldier,
diplomat, Governor, Senator and more, his impact can be measured by the
fact that February 6 is enshrined in Alaska law as “Ernest Gruening
Day.” President Reagan left a legacy of freedom, increased military
investment and greater optimism. He not only led a refocus of
priorities in our country, but also helped free millions in other
countries from the yoke of Communist oppression.
I will be participating in several community events
in Juneau, Anchorage, Wasilla, Kenai and Cordova during the next week.
Please share this report with interested friends and family. To subscribe or unsubscribe please visit the subscription page . If you have questions or comments please email me at Lt_Governor@gov.state.ak.us You can also reach me at (907) 465-3520 or 269-7460, or write to: Lieutenant Governor Loren Leman, PO Box 110015, Juneau, AK 99811-0015. Visit my web site: ltgov.state.ak.us.